Rescue Home for Books

As I’ve said before, I like books. Actual printed books. Preferably previously owned. I like having them on my shelves. I like organizing them so they can have nice neighbors. I like carefully lending them to people I really like and trust, and also love books.

I like proving a good home for all my books (unless they are truly terrible, and then I just find someone willing to take them, sorry, Cum Laude), and sometimes that means re-binding or wrapping them up in those plastic thingies. Particularly paperbacks. Particularly books I am prone to throw into my already-too-big bag and take it with me everywhere (I’m looking at you, HP). Since my mother majored in Languages and has a TON of books, she taught me how to protect them when I was little. Basic stuff. Just cross your fingers some bubbles don’t magically appear somehow, and you’ll be fine.

I had lots of fun doing that as a kid (and still do), but one thing that I’ve kept with me is that she taught me to fold the corners cutting off a triangle and generally making it look weird. Case in point, my poor thrift shop “The Mummy“:

No bubbles!

No bubbles!

Inside corners, mom’s style.

And why is that remotely interesting? Around the same time, I’d ordered another Anne Rice book, also former thrift shop resident, “Memnoch the Devil” (I was going through an Anne Rice fase — as in I’d sit and read the first half of every novel she wrote, then sit it down and never open it again). It was fancier. Its previous owner was thoughtful enough to wrap it himself. And take a look how well it resisted:

A treasure amongst second hand shops: a well-kept book!

A treasure amongst second hand shops: a well-kept book!

See? Yellow-ed, but well-kept. Notice the corners. Squared.

I was so amazed at how well it had been treated that ’till this day, whenever I wrap a book, I do the square corners and congratulate Memnoch‘s previous owner.

His/Her's signature was obstructed by the shop's stamp :( But he/she is remembered.

His/Her’s signature was obstructed by the shop’s stamp :(
But he/she is remembered.

I know it may seem silly to some people. But isn’t it nice to think maybe your book will not only have a second (and third, and fourth) life but a little bit of you (perhaps a habit) will carry through?

If not that, than at least I hope my books will survive time as well as Memnoch. Also, I’ve once catalogued all my books in Before Previous Memnoch’s Owner and After PMO. (Long vacations.)

Today I wraped “Will Grayson , Will Grayson“.

New and shiny.

New and shiny.

Squared corners. Pro.

Squared corners. Pro.

Strangely, this whole paranoia with books’ covers began when I lent one to a friend who I didn’t know was veery carefree about books. It came back with the cover all hurt and dog-eared. I was appalled, tried to conceal just how much from her. I fixed it up with black marker and iron, then sealed it for eternity and ever since have been doing background checks before I lend books to anyone. Hah.

What about you? Any weird habits to protect your books? Or are you a hippie book-owner? (;

Early semester drama

The semester has just started (ok, it started a month ago) and I was super excited about the new subjects (ok, some new subjects) it brought with — but that didn’t bother a train of thought that cost me 6 slides on a very dynamic class. I will now share that fascinating conversation with myself. Just because I have pictures. And I got a fun cute eraser.

Here’s what my “desk” looked like during class:

The view.

The view.

Thoughts:

#1 “Oh wow, maybe this class will actually be pretty cool, I seem to be getting the hang of things, look at that notebook! Do you remember what it looked like last semester? Keep up the good work! o/”

#2 “Wait. Did I color coordinate my stuff with my pencil case?”

"Oh my, I think I did"

“Oh my, I think I did”

#3 “Is it weird that I hadn’t noticed that WHILST buying the stuff? Which I did in different days? It even matches my pendrive. And it is oold. Maybe I have a bit of OCB. Just a bit.”

#4 “OK, a miiinor bit. Remember what my room looks like?”

*half a minute goes by*

#5 “My eraser is cute.”

"Best gift my aunt ever gave me."

“It is adorable.”

#6 “Remember that beautiful MONO I had? I used it ’till it was a quarter of its original size, then I couldn’t hold it any more.”

#7 “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’VE USED UP ENOUGH OF THIS ERASER THAT IT DISAPPEARS INTO THE STRIPPED CASING?”

#8 “I’ll have to cut it??? But it’s STRIPED, I’ll never cut it straight enough! It has a fixed bottom, it’s not like MONO. It’ll be a nightmare. I’ll be staring at the uneven striping for the rest of the semester/year. It’ll be an OCB nightmare. Like that squirrel and the soap bar in ‘Let’s pretend this never happened‘…”

*half a minute of panic and anxiety*

#9 “It’s oookay, it is only an eraser. You can do it.”

*another half a minute goes by*

#10 “OK, let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. Now get on with it.”

*six slides have gone past*

Cloud Appreciation

IMG_20140301_184212

Just another day, just outside my window

I can remember the first (and only) time I heard someone describe a cloud as something more than just the warning of precipitation — actually, I remember reading it. My friend had gotten an English correspondent off some band’s forum online and she’d sent him a carefully folded letter that involved a thorough description of her most favorite type of clouds — cumulus nimbus clouds.

At the time, I was about 13, he was about 15 and we both had only heard “Nimbus” from Harry Potter’s Nimbus 2000. Thank God for Wikipedia. We looked them up, picked our favorites (pretty much any cumulus cloud), and that was that. Never heard anyone talking about them clouds in non metereological ways again.

That is, until last week, when I somehow ended up watching a documentary on clouds, cloud spotting and how a professor who needed a catchy name for a speech on clouds ended up with the “Inaugural Speech for the Cloud Appreciation Society” — and found followers. He even created an app (Mac/Android) so you can take a picture and figure out what kind of cloud you’re looking at.

And I’m actually very tempted to pay the R$6,23 to use it, except my phone (for all the good qualities that it embeds, such as not breaking when I repeatedly drop it) does not have a decent camera.

But I’ve found myself looking up at the sky more. And finding numerous different clouds everywhere.

And you know when you’re watching a movie or seeing an ad and you think to yourself “Well, that ain’t real”? Unless I’m in some sort of Truman Show my brain is playing tricks with me, ’cause those clouds up there? They were in my backyard. I was closing my window and I was just “Wow… that can’t be real”. But it was. And I can’t even tell how many sights like these I’ve missed because I was indoors or not looking up.

Also, apparently “Cloud Study” is a thing, and has been a thing way before meteorologists were called meteorologists. There was a guy called John Constable in the early 19th century who did a hundred studies of cloud formations —

Cloud Study 400

John Constable

And apparently they (meteorologists) are taking a closer look at these paitings, now with a cientific purpose, since Constable was very faithful to reality. You can see more of his paintings by clicking on the picture bellow and going into the Tate Museum’s website, and more on his life and work clicking here.

“Cloud Study”, 1822. John Constable

Constable, however, was not the only one to like clouds. It’s just a bit unusual to portray reality. Dutch Jacob van Ruisdael, for instance, created his own clouds to make up dramatic scenes.

“A Landscape with a Ruined Castle and a Church”, 1665-70, Jacob van Ruisdael

As well as (Joseph Mallord) William Turner — who was the only painter whose name got stuck in my head because his paintings were denoted “J.M. William Turner”.

“Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington”, J.M. William Turner

But anyways, all that to tell you I like clouds.

Do you like clouds?

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Crappy hotel, fantastic view